Dorm Residents Choose Their Roommates
August 29, 2007 4:15 PM
Two nights into the Fall semester, Talia Jacobson lay on her bed in one of the 15 X 12 rooms of Mary Ward Hall. It was around 2 a.m. She was reading from a compilation of dorm horror stories called "The Naked Roommate". Suddenly, the door opened and Jacobson’s roommate stumbled in very drunk and flopped onto the other bed.
“I thought she was sleeping, but then I heard her gagging,” said Jacobson, 19. When she got up to check on her roommate, she found her facedown in vomit on the elevated bunk.
“She was like choking, you know,” said Jacobson. “I didn’t know what to do. Do I tell the R.A.? Do I tell somebody? I didn’t know anyone.” The roommate was passed out and Jacobson couldn’t wake her.
“There was vomit all over the room that she didn’t clean up.”
That incident was almost exactly a year ago, but the craziness didn’t stop until the semester was over.
“Once she came home on a bad acid trip and kept me up until 6 or 7, thinking I was a man,” remembered Jacobson with a wince.
This year SF State is implementing a new option to reduce conflict in the dorms and improve rapport among students living on campus, hopefully rendering experiences like Jacobson’s extinct. Applicants for rooms in the residence halls had a selection of roommates to choose from weeks before they moved in. All they had to do was find them online, using networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace.
“The objective is to have a bond formed before they arrive at school, to make sure that the social bond is there,” said Phillipe Cumia, Associative Director of University Housing Administrative Services.
Dorm applicants finding their future roommates online and rejecting them without even speaking with them was a major problem, said Cumia.
“By looking at a Myspace page, you’re not going to know 100 percent what the person is like,” he said.
What’s different now, by providing contact information, the housing office encourages the applicants to communicate with each other before moving in. The housing office has received fewer complaints of bad roommates than previous years, said Cumia.
Andrew LaVallee, an incoming freshman from Fairfield, was contacted by Josh Zubia, another incoming freshman. They shared similar affinities for athletics and decided to move in together.
“We both knew what we were going to do, so it worked out,” said LaVallee, 18.
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